P90X vs INSANITY- which workout is better? - FearlessLeeFit.com



P90X vs INSANITY – Is P90X better than INSANITY?

P90X vs INSANITY. Are you a X fan boy or an INSANE supporter? Since I’ve completed both P90X and INSANITY, I thought I would share my 2 cents on how I feel about these 2 workout programs.

First of all, they are both GREAT! I can see why Beachbody has sold millions of these programs and the numbers are still growing strong. They’re so popular that even people outside of the US and Canada are trying to get their hands on them (Beachbody only sells their workout programs in these 2 countries).

Quick Comparisons

Here’s a glance of what these 2 programs is about:

Tony Horton
Shaun T
90 Days
60 Days
16 – 92 minutes
30 – 86 minutes
Workout DVD
12 workouts + 7 bonus workouts
10 workouts + 1 bonus workout
needed; just use
your body
Perfect for
Fat burning, extreme result, abs/core, getting ripped
Fat burning, extreme result, getting toned


The Short Answer

If you want my opinion about which one is better than the other, my short answer is P90X. Why? Because it gave me what I wanted at the time I started the program which is to build and tone my muscles, lose fat, and get stronger. It may disagree because you may find the properties of INSANITY catered more toward your need. I rated each of these programs in a few criteria which I think most people wanted to know. And you might find it helpful if you’re debating whether you should purchase P90X or INSANITY. So read on…

The Long Answer

My conclusion is based on the following criteria:

P90X vs INSANITY – Variety

P90X – 10/10 vs INSANITY 5/10
P90X comes with 12 workouts plus 7 bonus workouts. Whereas, INSANITY only comes with 10 workouts plus 1 bonus workout. While in the regular schedule, we don’t count/do the bonus workouts so P90X doesn’t get much point in that sense. However, P90X has a great balance between weight lifting, abs, cardio, yoga and stretching. And the weight training pretty much covers the whole body – back, shoulders, triceps, biceps, arms, and legs. INSANITY is mainly cardio and plyometric (jump training) with some upper body resistance in Month 2 but those are still minimal when compare to P90X.

P90X vs INSANITY – Program and Workout Length

P90X – 6/10 vs INSANITY 8/10
INSANITY is a 60-day program and in Month 1, most workout are between 30-43 minutes, with the exception of the Cardio Abs days where you add another 16 minutes to the workout. In Month 2 of INSANITY, the length increased to 50+ minutes plus 16 minutes for the abs on certain days. P90X, on the other hand, is a 90-day program. Most days are about an hour of workout with the exception of Yoga X which is about an hour and 20 minutes. Also, on the Ab Ripper X days, you add another 15 minutes to the workout so you’re looking at a minimum of an hour to an hour and a half every day for 3 month.

P90X vs INSANITY – Learning Curve

P90X – 7/10 vs INSANITY 8/10
Some people will disagree with me on this, especially those who’re used to lifting weights. In my opinion, P90X as a steeper learning curve, in terms of form. While reps (the # of time you could do certain moves) is important, form is essential in P90X. For the ladies, moves such as push ups and chin-up/pull-ups are extremely difficult and the latter is also true for many guys including myself in the beginning. You need certain level of strength to be able to do it in good form. Yoga X and Ab Ripper X are also challenging. INSANITY on the other hand focuses more on keeping up with the program and not as much on the form (because the moves are generally very fast paced; and I’m not saying form is not important there). You generally could modify a bit to keep up as long as your heart rate is in the zone.

P90X vs INSANITY – Fat Burning

P90X – 7/10 vs INSANITY 10/10
This is where INSANITY blows P90X away. The max interval cardio routines in INSANITY is designed to keep our heart rate up (and in the zone) for the maximum amount of time and only to have a brief break every now and then. What this does is it maximizes the calorie burn in our body during the workout. I burn somewhere from 500-880 calories per workout! The most cardio intensive workout from P90X is Plyometrics and for me it burns about 650 calories. It’s only once a week. Another cardio from P90X is Kenpo X which is rather easy and doesn’t burn as much as INSANITY. BUT keep in mid though by working and building our muscles in P90X, our body actually continues to burn calories even after the workout – Up to 50 calories per pound of muscle per week.

P90X vs INSANITY – Muscle Building or Retention

P90X – 10/10 vs INSANITY 5/10
See those extreme results from the P90X infomercial or even in our hall of fame? Well, the results speak for itself! As mentioned before, P90X is a very well rounded program that covers many muscle groups. When you’re at a calorie deficit to lose weight/fat, you can at least maintain and condition your muscles. When you eat at or above your calorie need, you can very effectively build mass. Whereas, INSANITY has very limited resistance training other than the for leg muscles. Without proper diet, one will lose muscle mass from doing INSANITY. But again, most people do it to lose weight/fat without concerning too much about the muscle.

P90X vs INSANITY – Nutrition Plan

P90X – 8/10 vs INSANITY 6/10
In my opinion, the calorie need calculation in both programs are too high for fat loss. They’re rather “generous” and overly optimistic about the calories burn from the workout. My calculation is more conservative and has been very effective in burning fat. I gave P90X nutrition plan higher score because it’s more complete, the 3 diet phases are very adaptable even when applied in other workout programs and can be used for sustainable lifestyle change. INSANITY on the other hand focuses on maximizing performance. It’s more of a short-term plan than a sustainable one. Therefore, I often suggest the people I coach to follow the P90X diet plan, instead.

P90X vs INSANITY – Equipment

P90X – 7/10 vs INSANITY 10/10
INSANITY requires no equipment at all. It uses your body weight to perform the moves. This is perfect for those who don’t want to invest in any equipment or those who are always traveling because you don’t need to haul anything but the DVDs with you. P90X requires a bit more equipment. You’ll need at least a set of dumbbells or resistance bands, and a pull-up bar. The pull-up bar can also be substituted by the resistance bands if you get the door attachment for the bands. By the way, the bands are great for traveling as well.

P90X vs INSANITY – What I See In the Mirror

P90X – 10/10 vs INSANITY 10/10
I lost 25 lbs doing P90X and another 8 lbs doing INSANITY. I saw bigger and very well defined muscles from doing P90X but INSANITY cut my fat so much so that I can now see my 6 packs 🙂

P90X vs INSANITY – Final Score

P90X 65/80 vs INSANITY 62/80
Both programs are great. The score came in very close!! If you could cancel your gym membership and invest in these programs, instead, you could do a hybrid like I do now where I incorporate the best from both program to maximize my results!


There you have it! If you like this review, please remember to click “LIKE“, “SHARE” or “TWEET” below this to share with your friend!

Coach Al


Want to lose fat while minimizing muscle lost? Check out Tony Horton’s new P90X3. Get ripped in 30 minutes a day.



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Hey! Thanks for all the tips and observations. What do you think about mixing up the programs? I've heard there's a hybrid schedule, but I don't know if it is the best option for beginners. Thanks! 

Coach Al
Coach Al moderator

@lizo Yes, there's indeed a hybrid schedule where you simply swap out the P90X cardio workouts with that of Insanity/ Insanity's cardio workout is general more intensive than P90X's KenpoX and Plyometrics so you'll benefit from the extra calorie burned. There's no such thing as "beginner" LOL. You set a goal, stick to the plan and see results. As simple as that. 


Great review of both programs; exactly what I was looking for since I'm contemplating whether I should move on to P90X.  I have two more weeks with INSANITY.  Many of my friends who have tried both came out with your same conclusion, but, that's keeping in mind that I'm a guy and I only consulted with guys (and guys generally prefer adding muscle and strength rather than cardio).  My "master plan" was to lose fat then add muscle and strength so after INSANITY I'll definitely jump to P90X.

 Thanks for the reviews!